Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Capitalism, the two Memes

The link above goes to a Daily Kos poem on the evils of capitalism. Now, this sort of thing used to bother me, because I generally think capitalism is a pretty fine thing. Free people, owning the means of production, small businessmen and women, farmers, the little old ladies whose stock holdings make them the owners of America. It all seems to work pretty fine, with a few rough edges of course.

But there is another, and in fact older meaning of the word 'capitalism', as coined by Marx. This is the evil capitalism, the faceless corporations, the evil fat cats in cahoots with big government to make a quick million and, just for kicks, throw some old folks out in the street to starve. And we do, in fact, have that capitalism in America as well.

But my question for the writer is, what could we possibly replace capitalism with that would work any better? Certainly not socialism or communism. Communism has proven itself a failure at anything besides mass starvation and mass murder. They do make some pretty cool statues of their presidents-for-life, but what other product has any communist country produced that anyone would want?

Socialism has a better reputation, if you discount the socialism of Mussolini and Hitler. Modern Western European socialists are a pretty despicable bunch, but so far they have not killed all that many people.

I guess the Swedes did manage to institute one of Hitler's schemes, the genocide of their lower classes. But they did it nicely, without concentration camps. They just cut the mens' nuts off, and tied the tubes of the women. Over a few decades suddenly there were no more Traveling People in Sweden, no more Gypsies, and few enough poor Swedes. Eliminate the criminal classes, heh?

Take a look at the other countries where socialism is strong, Germany, France etc. France is currently experiencing riots in the streets due mainly to the unemployment of their underclass. People who want to work but can't because of socialist regulation of the economy. European socialism works great if you are already rich. Not so good if you are poor.

Socialism does seem successful at one thing, reducing population. Birth rates seem pretty tightly tied to the level of socialist government in a country. Japan, for example, is not officially socialist, but it is corporatist, with the government and big companies giving strong safety nets to employed people. It is harsh on outsiders, but most Japanese seem happy to work for big corps and the government. Their birth rate is so low that as of a few years ago the population actually began to fall!

Europe is much the same, cradle (less of that now) to grave safety, and fewer and fewer people to appreciate the loving care.

America is well along the socialist path, with plenty of welfare programs, but not quite as much regulation as Europe, yet. Our population is stable, only increasing because of high immigration.

Seems to me if your goal is the destruction of your culture and people, socialism is the perfect path.

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